We had the privilege of interviewing Jeannie Branthoover who shared with us the benefits of feeding dogs a raw diet. Jeannie Branthoover lives in Wilton, Connecticut with her husband and two Harlequin Great Danes. She is a dog nutritionist and behavior trainer, but her education begun much earlier.
Jeannie grew up on a farm, and so she developed a common-sense approach to life. On the farm, she saw how important nutrition is to animals they cared for. This lesson carried over into how she cares for her Harlequin Great Danes. This is also why she chooses to buy from BJ’s Raw Pet Food. She and her husband enjoy the drive down to Lancaster, Pennsylvania to BJ’s Raw Pet Food nestled in the rolling hills of beautiful farms. She buys directly from the farm, the BJ’s farm, so she is very aware that she is giving a true farm-to-bowl experience to her dogs.
BJ’s Raw Pet Food is just a small family-owned farm that wants to provide the freshest nutritional meals possible to pets. Jeannie talks directly with Chris Glick, BJ’s owner, and he is happy to answer any questions and accommodate almost any requests. Chris consults with Dr. Ian Billinghurst, the world-leading expert on raw feeding, and works hard to provide the kinds of meals dogs and cats need.
Jeannie is frequently asked, “What are Harlequin Great Danes?” Harlequin Great Danes have white coats with irregular-shaped black patterns. Someone unfamiliar with this breed might think they are Dalmatians, but they are nothing like Dalmatians. They are much larger and built with a boxier Great Dane appearance among several other differences. Jeannie is an equestrian at heart, so she is naturally drawn to this breed.
There is no denying her passion for her dogs. She and her husband walk them twice a day and feed them only the best possible food. Jeannie explains that having big dogs comes with big responsibilities like making sure they have longevity of life. She is aware that Harlequin Great Danes have a shorter life expectancy, so she and her husband wanted to make sure they are on the best diet possible.
She further explains that there were no questions. She knew she didn’t want to feed anything with preservatives in it, or any additional ingredient she couldn’t pronounce. “As a rule, you shouldn’t be feeding your dog food that has a lot of ingredients you can’t pronounce. You are leading them to a slow death,” Jeannie tells us.
Jeannie believes that our domestic dogs’ diets should mimic what they receive in the wild. She says that is exactly what a raw diet does. Dogs are receiving what they need, in the correct balance. They were never meant to eat kibble their whole life. “This is so much better for the dogs, and they just want to gobble it up.”
The Health Benefits of a Raw Diet
As a dog nutritionist, Jeannie believes that the health benefits of a raw diet are very compelling. She explains to her clients the benefits of switching over to raw feeding and has witnessed the transformation her clients experience. Within two weeks of Jeannie’s clients switching over to raw, she starts hearing about their progress.
Jeannie says that feeding raw is cheap insurance. If you want longevity for your dog, you’ll switch to raw. Dogs on kibble develop many avoidable health issues, and you will be paying vet bills to manage these issues. Jeannie believes the extra you pay in raw pales in comparison to the vet bills you will incur as a result of feeding chemical kibbles, not to mention the suffering you will be saving your dog.
However, most veterinarians aren’t on board with raw feeding yet. Jeannie said it took effort to find a vet that was willing to put aside the kibble industry propaganda and respect her decision to feed raw. Many veterinarians are indoctrinated early on in their career as kibble companies are trying to win brand loyalty while they are still veterinarian students.
Dr. Ian Billinghurst agreed to an interview with us and shared why he stopped recommending kibble to his patients. He has been working with pets for over 40 years as an Australian Veterinarian Surgeon. He saw the harm it caused his patients and saw how his patients showed remarkable improvement when switching to a raw diet.
“As I transition more and more of my pet patients to fresh raw diets, I saw the drastic health improvements that came along with the transitions”– Dr Ian Bilinghurst
For over 25 years he’s been advocating raw diets for dogs and cats. He explains, “These grain-based products act like a slow poison in the life of my patients.” In his research, he saw remarkable transformations in his patients. He witnessed improvement in appearance, arthritis, diabetes, and even cancer remediation.
Sadly, many of us have bought into the message that raw food is “dangerous” and kibble is the only responsible way to feed your dogs. This simply isn’t true. Kibble isn’t as “safe” as advertised, and there are responsible ways to feed your pets’ raw. Fortunately, there are more and more veterinarians changing their minds and speaking out. These veterinarians are risking being ostracized by their peers.
Dr. Karen Becker, another veterinarian, is leading a movement behind Dr. Ian Billinghurst to change the public perspective on raw feeding.
“The rise in the popularity of fresh pet food is due in part to the growing awareness among pet guardians of the link between processed pet food and many of the diseases suffered by today’s dogs and cats.”– Dr. Karen Becker
No pet should suffer a lifetime of chronic health issues because of poor nutrition. As Jeannie has pointed out, these are completely preventable health issues that are brought on by chemical kibbles. She did her research and made her decision, and her dogs enjoy a happier and healthier life.
To learn more about BJ’s subscription please visit the Subscriptions page. You should have all your questions answered there, but you are welcome to give a call at 717-745-8899 if you have any unanswered questions.
When asked about her customer service experience with BJ’s, she says, “customer service is excellent”! Sharon chooses BJ’s because of the helpful videos and information available about raw dog food. Anytime she has any issues she can call Chris, BJ’s president, and he is eager to help. “There are many natural vitamins and minerals BJ’s raw pet food.” The meals are high in protein that is balanced to meet canines’ needs.
Visit the BJ’s Raw Pet Food Member Testimonials page to see some of our customers’ testimonials.
Here are a few links that may help with questions you may have. First, here is the link to the most frequent questions we hear. And here is a link to a feeding calculator to help guide you in knowing how much and what to feed your dog, no matter what your goal is. There are also coupons included in the emails with the recommendation. Lastly, you might like to know what other customers like the most from our store. Here is a shortlist of the most popular meals we provide.
Remember, this is a farm-to-bowl experience for your dog. We live and operate from a small farm, so this is as fresh as it gets!